Right Sizing the Budget

Bloomington Public Schools and school districts across Minnesota are facing challenging fiscal environments due to a number of factors, including decreasing enrollment and the sunsetting of federal pandemic relief funds. BPS is facing a budget shortfall for the 2024-25 school year and the foreseeable future. On Feb. 26, 2024, the School Board formally adopted an initial $4.4 million budget adjustment for next school year as part of a multi-year Right Sizing the Budget (RSB) process. In addition to these adjustments, the loss of pandemic relief (ESSER), Title I and Integration funds and projected enrollment declines result in significant financial impacts of $4.63 million.

This process will include opportunities for community, staff, student and family feedback. Our goal is to minimize the impact on any one school, grade level or department. 

Approved Budget Adjustments for 2024-25

Budget adjustments were approved by the School Board on Feb. 26, 2024. The figures by level are:

  • Elementary: $1.4 million
  • Middle School: $0.93 million
  • High School: $1.1 million
  • Educational Services Center (ESC): $1.0 million

Additional financial impacts due to lost funding: $4.63 million

  • ESSER funds: $2.67 million
  • Enrollment decline: $1.0 million
  • Title 1: $0.69 million
  • Integration: $0.27 million

Approved 2024-25 Budget Adjustments

2024-25 Right Sizing the Budget Presentation

Budgeting Process Timeline and Communications

Nov. 2023: Administration determines a need to reduce the 2024-25 budget by $4 million to control spending and bring more alignment between revenue and expenditures.

Nov. 16, 2023: Cabinet, principals and program leads are informed of the need to right size the budget, and begin discussing areas to save costs.

Dec. 8, 2023: Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director of Finance complete an internal draft Right Sizing the Budget (RSB) plan to determine the $4 million in adjustments for the 2024-25 school year.

Dec. 11, 2023: School Board receives a report about the need to right size the 2024-25 budget. 

Jan. 4, 2024: 2024-25 RSB draft plan is shared with the district leadership team.

Jan. 5, 2024: RSB draft plan is shared with the Board Finance and Facilities committee.

Jan. 8-9, 2024: School and district leaders present RSB plan and adjustment amounts by level with staff, and district stakeholder committees. This kicks off the RSB process to share information with stakeholder groups and gather feedback.

Jan. 9, 2024: District message to all parents/caregivers and Inside Page newsletter to all staff includes RSB updates.

Jan. 10, 2024: RSB webpage launched on the BPS website to provide the community with regular updates on the budgeting process, including a FAQs document for timely responses to questions.

Jan. 10-12, 2024: The Winter issue of School Pages (community newsletter) arrives at Bloomington residences with the feature article detailing the budget shortfall for the 2024-25 school year.

Jan. 11, 2024: Melbye Monthly January 2024 episode features superintendent message on right sizing the budget.

Jan. 16, 2024: Inside Page newsletter to all staff includes the January Melbye Monthly featuring superintendent message on right sizing the budget.

Jan. 19 - Feb. 12, 2024: Stakeholder group meetings on RSB for ideas and feedback. Stakeholders include parents/caregivers, staff, and students. 

Jan. 22: School Board hears audit report.

Jan. 31, 2024: School Board and Cabinet will meet to continue right sizing the budget discussions, including specific adjustments by level.

Feb. 6, 2024: District message to all parents/caregivers and Inside Page newsletter to all staff includes RSB updates.

Feb. 12, 2024: School Board receives an update on the RSB plan including details of the adjustments being proposed at its study session.

Feb. 26, 2024: School Board formally adopts final RSB plan. Adjustments to be included in the final 2024-25 operating budget, which is approved by June 30, 2024.

Factors Impacting the Budget

We find ourselves in this situation due to a number of factors including:

Declining Enrollment

Our K-12 enrollment this year is down 122 students to 9,680. This is the lowest enrollment in years, resulting in a loss of approximately $1.3 million in revenue. BPS is not alone in this challenge as many state and metro area school districts are experiencing a loss of students, due in large part to the pandemic. With state funding largely distributed through per student formulas, this decline has significant compounding impacts on revenue. 

State Funding

State funding continues to be a factor, even after the historic funding approved by the Minnesota State Legislature during the 2023 session. While these investments are appreciated, the funding primarily addressed shortages school districts have endured for years to cover increasing costs for special education and English learners programming. Additionally, the education bill included new mandates, programs and requirements with increased costs. Some of these are funded, others partially or temporarily funded, and several with no funding at all.

Federal Relief Funds Ending

Federal pandemic relief funds are coming to an end next year. Before the pandemic, we made budget adjustments on an annual basis to balance the budget. This practice was put on hold when the pandemic hit in part because of the one-time federal pandemic relief funds. A portion of those funds in combination with our fund balance allowed us to pause budget adjustments for the past three years. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Administration welcomes questions and feedback from staff, families and students via the Let’s Talk tool on our Contact Us page. Relevant and common questions and responses will be regularly added to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Feedback, input and questions from families, community members, students and staff are encouraged. Please use the Let's Talk tool on our Contact Us page.